No TrumpsπŸ‘±‍♂️ Newsbites
Meet Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization CFO prosecutors are reportedly trying to flip
  • Allen Weisselberg has been the Trump Organization's longtime loyal CFO and family bookkeeper.
  • The Manhattan DA is reportedly trying to "flip" him for its investigation into Trump's finances.
  • Weisselberg and his family's close ties to the Trumps go into legal gray areas.
During the past several years of criminal investigations, Congressional inquiries, and political battles over Donald Trump's taxes and business dealings, the one man most intimately familiar with them has remained out of the spotlight.

The mustachioed, press-shy Allen Weisselberg has served as the Trump Organization's Chief Financial Officer for decades, as well as Trump's personal bookkeeper. Now, he's reportedly the subject of a wide-ranging inquiry from the Manhattan District Attorney's office.

Prosecutors are looking into "flipping" Weisselberg into cooperating with an investigation into Trump's finances, according to the Washington Post. Weisselberg, 73, has loyally served the Trump family since the 1970s and is the only person not a member of Trump's family to oversee his trust while he was president. Prosecutors are reportedly zeroing in on Weisselberg's two sons, both of whom also have close ties to the company.

Given his vast familiarity with the Trump family's finances and their network of companies, Weisselberg could be the most important source for any investigation into Trump's finances.

He's also worked with prosecutors before.
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QAnon Shaman's '60 Minutes' interview backfired. Judge cites interview when ruling he must remain jailed until trial.
  • The QAnon Shaman has lost his most recent attempt at getting out of jail ahead of his trial.
  • New court documents released Monday argue Jacob Chansley remains a flight risk and danger.
  • A judge said Chansley's "60 Minutes" interview proved he does not appreciate the severity of his charges.
More than two months after the deadly Capitol insurrection, one judge thinks self-styled QAnon Shaman Jacob Chansley, still hasn't learned his lesson.

The infamous horned Capitol participant of the siege lost his latest pretrial release motion Monday, according to new court documents that reject Chansley's claims he was a peaceful participant in the fatal siege.

Earlier this month, Chansley gave his first jailhouse interview since his arrest to CBS News' "60 Minutes+," telling correspondent Laurie Segall he didn't consider his participation in the insurrection an attack on the United States.

... "The statements [Chansley] has made to the public from jail show that [he] does not fully appreciate the severity of the allegations against him," Lamberth wrote. "To the contrary, he believes that he — not the American people or members of Congress — was the victim on January 6th."

In the interview, Chansley said he regretted entering the Capitol building illegally, but said he thought the move was "acceptable" because police officers had "waved" protesters in — a claim prosecutors have been unable to confirm, according to court records.

Once inside the building, Chansley told Segall his actions were "peaceful" and "calm." The 33-year-old said he "sang a song" inside the chamber and even "stopped somebody from stealing muffins out of the break room."

But legal documents argue Chansley's depiction of events is a mischaracterization of the role he played that day.

"[Chansley's] perception of his actions on January 6th as peaceful, benign, and well-intentioned, shows a detachment from reality," Lamberth said in the decision.

Chansley is currently jailed in Washington, DC, facing six charges and up to twenty years in prison over his participation in the riot. In addition to illegally trespassing as one of the alleged first rioters to breach the Capitol, court records say Chansley also clashed with Capitol police officers, went into the Senate chamber, and left a note on then-Vice President Mike Pence's dais saying "it's only a matter of time, justice is coming."

He later told FBI agents that Pence was a "child-trafficking traitor," referring to a QAnon conspiracy theory, while Chansley's lawyer, Al Watkins, argued in a pretrial release motion that his client's note for Pence used words that came directly from former President Donald Trump and were not meant as a threat to Pence.
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Tattoo artist linked to Trump friend Roger Stone arrested on Capitol riot charges
A man linked to Roger Stone — the Republican "dirty trickster" who received a pardon from his friend former President Donald Trump — has been arrested on criminal charges related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

New York resident Roberto Minuta, who reportedly provided security to Stone in Washington in the hours before the pro-Trump invasion of the Capitol, was arrested Saturday.

Minuta, a tattoo artist in Newburgh, New York, who has connections to the right-wing Oath Keepers militia group, was granted release on bond after an appearance in federal court in White Plains, New York.

He is charged with obstruction of an official proceeding, entering a restricted building or grounds, and tampering with documents or proceedings.

A prosecutor said that Minuta admitted to FBI agents that he was at the Capitol during the riot, as well as to carrying pepper spray or bear spray that day. He also was seen wearing tactical goggles and gloves, and carrying a radio, court documents state.

Those documents also say that when he left the Capitol building, Minuta harassed law enforcement officers with other rioters, yelling, "All that's left is the Second Amendment," while holding up two fingers. Minuta has 10 licensed firearms, according to prosecutors.

Another man was arrested Saturday at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City by the FBI on Capitol riot-related charges after being deported by authorities in Kenya.

That man, Isaac Steve Sturgeon, is accused of picking up a metal barricade during the riot, pushing it into police guarding the complex and then crawling underneath it to get into the Capitol building, before he was blocked from entering.

Sturgeon, a 32-year-old lawn-care business owner from Dillon, Montana, is scheduled to appear in Brooklyn federal court on Monday on charges of obstruction of justice, and obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder. Prosecutors plan to ask a judge to order him detained without bond pending trial.

A criminal complaint says that that Sturgeon traveled to Kenya on Jan. 24 and afterward bought a ticket to fly back to the United States on April 5. Kenyan authorities booted him from their country in advance of that date.
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Bush and Clinton portraits are back on display in White House's Grand Foyer
They are back on display in the Grand Foyer of the executive mansion, the official said.

The portraits were removed last July and were replaced by two portraits of Republican presidents who served more than a century ago.

White House tradition calls for portraits of the most recent American presidents to be given the most prominent placement, in the entrance of the executive mansion, visible to guests during official events. However, the Trump White House moved the Clinton and Bush portraits into the Old Family Dining Room, a small, rarely used room that is not seen by most visitors.

... The official portrait of former President Barack Obama has not been unveiled, and it is unclear when it will be completed or when it will be hung.
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NYC prosecutors' probe into Trump finances expands to include millions loaned for Chicago skyscraper
Prosecutors issued the grand jury subpoena to Fortress Investment Management late last year, the people said, as part of their wide-ranging investigation into former President Donald Trump and his company.

Investigators' interest in how Trump and his company treated the Chicago loan is an expansion of an inquiry that encompasses multiple aspects of the Trump business.

Prosecutors are examining whether the company misled lenders or insurance brokers about valuations for certain properties. They are also investigating fees paid to consultants and a conservation easement taken on a New York family estate called Seven Springs.

Their interest in Fortress relates to a $130 million loan the company made to the Trump Organization for the construction of a luxury hotel and condo tower in Chicago.

By 2012, Fortress subsequently forgave more $100 million of the loan, which, including interest and fees, was worth about $150 million, according to court filings. The forgiveness was done to secure a partial re-payment of about $45 million at a time when the real estate market was suffering from the financial crisis.

Prosecutors with Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance's office are looking into whether Trump and the Trump Organization recorded the loan forgiveness as income, as required by the Internal Revenue Service, and paid the appropriate taxes, the people say. the full article:

Those refused entry to the US under Trump's Muslim ban policy can get a new decision, State Department says
  • People denied entry under Trump's travel ban could reapply, the State Department said on Monday.
  • Those who were denied on or after January 20, 2020, would not need to resubmit their applications.
  • Those who were denied before January 20, 2020, would have to submit new applications.
On January 20, Biden issued an executive order revoking the ban on travel from majority-Muslim countries.

Biden gave the State Department 45 days to provide a report with a proposal on how to handle the applications of those who were denied because of the two travel ban measures Trump implemented.

Most people from Syria, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, North Korea, and Venezuela were prohibited from traveling to the US under a plan initially introduced in 2017. In 2020, Trump added immigrants and travelers from Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania to the list.

... US law bars people who were selected as part of the diversity visa lottery between 2017 and 2020 to be issued visas if they have not gotten them already, the statement said.

The Department said while they're working to make sure those impacted can be helped as soon as possible, the pandemic has made it difficult to process visas.

"As the Department works to serve affected applicants as quickly as possible, the health and safety of our workforce and customers remains paramount. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the health safeguards it has necessitated, continue to severely impact the number of visas our embassies and consulates abroad are able to process," the statement read.

"Our team in Washington and around the world continue to work tirelessly to find ways to increase the number of immigrant visa appointments, and will continue to do so in the coming months."
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Republicans are pushing at least 37 bills nationwide targeting transgender athletes as conservatives open up a new front in the war on trans rights
  • Republicans are seeking to bar transgender youth from playing on teams matching their gender identity.
  • There are at least 37 active bills in state legislatures across the nation targeting trans athletes.
  • The GOP's attacks have ramped up as President Joe Biden and Democrats seek to expand LGBTQ rights.
First, Republicans used bathroom bills to go after transgender youth. Now, conservatives have opened up a new front in their assault on transgender rights even as Democrats seek to expand civil rights protections for the LGBTQ+ community.

Republicans in Washington and statehouses around the country have unleashed a barrage of legislation and rhetoric aimed at preventing transgender children from participating in sports that match their gender identity.

Nationwide, at least 37 current state bills aim to curtail transgender athletes from participating in sports using their preferred gender are making their way through state legislatures, according to data provided to Insider by the Human Rights Campaign. Two pieces of legislation — in South Dakota and Mississippi — are on their way to becoming law.

There are 35 more active bills targeting transgender people in other ways, according to HRC.

And in recent weeks, high-profile political figures including former president Donald Trump and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, a Georgia Republican have used transgender athletes as political punching bags — or punchlines.

To advance this agenda, conservatives argue that allowing transgender athletes to participate on teams that match their gender identities would harm women's sports, a claim that trans activists say is preposterous.

... While GOP legislators push bills to "save women's sports" by banning transgender girls and women, medical professionals are still determining whether any competitive advantage exists for transgender women to begin with.

Dr. Jordan Feigenbaum, a doctor and strength coach, wrote that any attempt to limit trans inclusion in sports with scientific arguments is a pointless exercise, especially given the lack of long-term research on the subject.

"Effectively regulating sports divisions based on sex using science is impossible," Feigenbaum said. "There is no specific biological characteristic, nor set of characteristics, including genital structures, reproductive organs, or chromosomal arrangement, that can adequately answer this."
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Twitter is suing Texas AG Ken Paxton, claiming he abused his power by launching a retaliatory investigation into the company after it banned Trump
  • Twitter is suing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
  • Paxton announced a probe against Twitter after it suspended former President Donald Trump's account.
  • Twitter claimed on Monday that Paxton was abusing his office as retaliation for Trump's suspension.
Paxton announced in January he was issuing a series of investigative demands to Twitter as well as Google, Facebook, Amazon Web Services, and Apple. Paxton said the investigation was into the companies' moderation decisions, and the "seemingly coordinated de-platforming of the President of the United States."

The lawsuit filed Monday said that Paxton "made clear that he will use the full weight of his office, including his expansive investigatory powers, to retaliate against Twitter for having made editorial decisions with which he disagrees," per AP.

... In his January announcement, Paxton cited the First Amendment, saying "this large-scale silencing and the effects it will have on the future of free speech." The First Amendment does not stop Twitter, as a private company, restricting speech, and is able to decide its own moderation policies.

In a statement to Insider, Twitter said Paxton was the one infringing the First Amendment. "A core part of Twitter's mission is to protect freedom of expression and defend an Open Internet. We work every day to protect those interests for the people who use our service around the world," a Twitter spokesperson said.

"The First Amendment protects everyone's right to free speech, including private businesses. In this case, the Texas Attorney General is misusing the powers of his office to infringe on Twitter's First Amendment rights and attempt to silence free speech."
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or Trump-ism

Trumpism refers to the nontraditional political philosophy and approach espoused by Donald Trump and his supporters. The term Trumpism can also be used to directly refer to an outrageous or idiosyncratic statement made by Donald Trump.

Trump, whom many observers consider an anomaly, left the White House by saying, “We will be back in some form.” His legacy is “Trumpism” – a wave of white nationalism.

Trumpisms are Bushisms on steroids.